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Oct 13, 2019 at 5pm UK
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Preview: Belarus vs. Netherlands - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Friday's Euro 2020 qualifier between Belarus and the Netherlands, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Netherlands will be looking for their fourth straight Group C victory when they travel to Belarus for their sixth Euro 2020 qualification fixture on Sunday night.

A total of 12 points sees Ronald Koeman's side top their section, but second-placed Germany and third-placed Northern Ireland have the same number of points as the race for qualification continues.

Match preview

Belarus defender Aleksandr Martynovich in action against Northern Ireland in their Euro 2020 qualifier in March 2019© Reuters

One win, one draw and four defeats - that is how Belarus have performed in Group C thus far. The White Wings have only scored three times in their six matches, while a total of four points has left them in fourth spot.

Belarus have never qualified for the finals of a World Cup or European Championship, and it was always going to be a big ask to challenge Germany and the Netherlands for a spot at the top of the section.

Mikhail Markhel's side opened their Euro 2020 qualification campaign with a 4-0 defeat against the Netherlands before losing home and away to Northern Ireland and at home to Germany in their next three.

Belarus did manage to put three points on the board away to Estonia on September 6, but were then held to a goalless draw by the same opponents on Thursday night. Their last two games in the section are extremely tough as they travel to Germany in their final fixture after this one.

It is shaping up to be the nation's worst European Championship qualification campaign since 2004 when they only managed one victory. Indeed, they have been posted three wins in their last two qualification campaigns, although as mentioned, Group C has provided them with a number of tough challenges.

Netherlands' Memphis Depay celebrates scoring their third goal with teammates© Reuters

Netherlands actually fell behind to Northern Ireland in Thursday's clash in Rotterdam, but Memphis Depay - who netted a brace - and Luuk de Jong both scored in the final 10 minutes to turn the game around.

As a result, Koeman's side are top of the section with 12 points having won four and lost one of their five matches thus far.Germany and Northern Ireland also have the same number of points, meaning that it is shaping up to be a fascinating conclusion to this particular group.

Netherlands suffered a 3-2 defeat at home to Germany on March 24 before winning the reverse game 4-2, which has given the nation the superior head-to-head record. A 4-0 victory in Estonia followed, before the important 3-1 win over Northern Ireland on Thursday night.

Oranje will travel to Northern Ireland in their penultimate group game on November 16, before welcoming Estonia three days later. Koeman's side are currently in control of their own destiny, and another win on Sunday night would place them in a strong position heading into their final two matches.

Holland have incredibly not been present at the finals of a major tournament since the 2014 World Cup, but it would be a surprise if the European nation failed to book their spot at Euro 2020 from this position.

Belarus form: LLLLWD

Netherlands form: WLWWW

Team News

Memphis Depay celebrates scoring for Netherlands on October 10, 2019© Reuters

Belarus have no fresh injury concerns from the team that started the goalless draw with Estonia on Thursday night, and it would not be a surprise to see the same XI sent onto the field.

Maksim Skavysh has two international goals to his name and should lead the line, while Stanislaw Dragun is likely to feature in an attacking midfield position once again.

Ihar Stasevich is also expected to get the nod in an attacking position, with Ivan Bakhar set to start on the bench once again.

As for the visitors, Koeman also has no fresh injury concerns from the clash with Northern Ireland, but the head coach could decide to shuffle his pack to guard against fatigue.

Donny van de Beek and Luuk de Jong are two of the players pushing for a spot in the XI, but the likes of Virgil van Dijk, Georginio Wijnaldum and Depay are certain to keep their positions in the side.

Ryan Babel's spot in the final third could also be under threat from Donyell Malen, who has been in outstanding form for PSV Eindhoven in the early stages of the 2019-20 campaign.

Belarus possible starting lineup: Gutor; Polyakov, Politsevich, Martynovich, Matveichyk; Maevski, Yablonski; Stasevich, Dragun, Savitskiy; Skavysh

Netherlands possible starting lineup: Cillessen; Dumfries, De Ligt, Van Dijk, Blind; F de Jong, De Roon, Wijnaldum; Malen, Memphis, Bergwijn

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We say: Belarus 0-2 Netherlands

Holland need to win due to the pressure from Germany and Northern Ireland, and we are finding it difficult to back against Koeman's side due to their superior quality all over the park.

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